Weight Loss Tips For 2017
Health |  Source: spotrunner.com

Weight Loss Tips For 2017

Get ready for the slim-down!

It can't get much worse than 2016, so there's no where to go but up! Most New Year's Resolutions circle around fitness.

The New Year comes right after the holiday season where we chow down on pie and get a little too comfortable in our winter bods. Whether you want to lose 20 pounds, five pounds, or just turn some fat into muscle, I have some tips for you!

Make sure you aren't taking adderall, skipping meals, and simply hoping for the best. This will not keep the pounds off permanently! In fact, it may even pack them on later.

Skipping meals slows down your metabolism and won't give you the long term results you want. In 2017, start exercising, eating healthy, and putting in the work.

Here are some ways you can help aid the process:

At least eight glasses of eight ounces every day.

2. Cut back on alcohol.
Choose red over white and lose the sugary mixers.

3. Do a cleanse.
Tea-Toxes are my favorite!

4. Speaking of tea...
Drink more green tea on the daily!

5. Turmuric.
It supports natural weight loss, aids muscles and joints, and reduces inflammation.

6. Take a shot of apple cider vinegar in the morning!
It's gross, but it works.

7. Flaxseed Oil.
It supports natural weight loss and fights cellulite.

8. Eat flat tummy foods.
Almonds, asparagus, blueberries, oatmeal, salmon, spinach are all great for that.

9. Never Skip Breakfast!
Ever ever ever!

10. Eat Throughout The Day
Six little meals are better than three big meals.

11. L-Carnitine.
It regulates how the body metabolizes fats and carbs.

12. Hit the gym.
Go at least three times a week & never go three days without it.

13. Mix up your workout.
Try boxing, cycling, pole dancing, etc.

14. Add lemon to your water/tea.
It makes it taste better without any extra calories.

15. Avoid processed foods.
This should be obvious.

16. Whole grains are your friend.
Avoid white bread, white rice, and potatoes.

17. Crank up the cardio.
The more sweat, the more pounds you lose.

18. Enjoy your food.
Eat slowly!

19. Get enough sleep & reduce stress.
You'll be happier all-around, also!

You have to start now, keep your goals in mind, and remember that it won't happen overnight. It will be a happy new year indeed!

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Health | 

I Got Fat Sophomore Year

How I lost a little weight and regained a lot of control.

My sophomore year of college, I got fat.

I had always been a thin girl, and doing sports in high school meant I could eat whatever I wanted. When I made it through my freshman year without gaining that dreaded 15 pounds, I figured I was in the clear. That was the riskiest time for weight gain, right? I could maintain my high school weight no problem for the rest of my life.

Then, in the spring of my sophomore year, I went to put on my favorite pair of jeans from high school, and they wouldn't even go up past my mid-thigh. What the hell happened to me?

It's no surprise I didn't notice the weight gain, since I spent the whole winter in leggings (hello, strechy!), hoodies, and sweaters. It was damn cold! But when the weather got warmer and I put on those jeans, it was a wakeup call. It wasn't a huge amount of weight that I gained, but on my small frame, an extra 20 pounds felt like a lot.

Luckily, my identity was never based off the fact that I was thin. Honestly, my huge boobs for my frame were what people really noticed. But for some reason, that weight gain really got to me. I didn't feel like myself. I felt tired and slow. I had to figure out what happened, and the more I thought about it, I realized what had changed in my routine from the fall to the spring.

Number one: After my long distance boyfriend and I broke up, I got more involved in my sorority and was drinking a lot more. I was honest with myself that it probably wasn't going to change. Heh.

Number two: I was walking way less. I went from having classes all over campus five days a week to having my classes clustered in one section of campus just two days a week. On the days I didn't have class, I vegged out and did homework in my bed. I wasn't moving. That had to change.

Number three: I was really busy with the organizations I got involved with. This meant being on campus from 10 am to 10 pm. This meant eating at Panda Express in the student union way more than I went to the dining hall with my sorority sisters. I was eating unhealthy, fatty crap that was making me even more tired.

Once I figured out the three things that had changed, I got myself back on track, little by little. I kept drinking, but I tried to dance more at those parties. When I didn't have class, I hiked across the huge hilly campus to the library to do homework. When I knew I'd be busy all day, I'd grab a to-go salad or healthy meal from the dining commons so I could avoid Panda Express.

These weren't huge changes, in fact they were really easy to do, but they made such a big difference in how I felt. I was eating better, so I had more energy. I left my dorm more, so I saw more of my friends and built up better relationships. Before I knew it, I had lost a lot of the weight I gained, and I finally felt like myself again.

Looking back at that with more life experience, I realize that it wasn't really about the weight, it was about the routine. Yes, eating chow mein and staying in my bed three days a week caused some of the weight gain, but it was changing my routine that got me back on track. I only ended up losing about 15 of the pounds I had gained, but I didn't even realize it. Once my routine was back to normal, so was I.

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Health |  Source: @leta_vita

Why I Stopped Counting Calories

What I thought was healthy turned out to be so unhealthy.

When I was counting calories, I measured out everything I ate, ate only healthy things, and felt like a morally inferior person when I went over my allotted amount of calories for the day at all. While trying to be healthy, I was doing something unhealthy for my mind and self-esteem, and I realized it about a year into this habit.

I would weigh myself every day and then get frustrated when I gained any weight whatsoever. It was so bad sometimes that I weighed myself at least three to five times a day.

Sure, I did lose weight while doing it, but then I started comparing my stomach to other girls at the pool or wherever else a girl showed her belly. I started to work out so I could cut even more belly fat, but while doing that, I would overwork myself. And then eat some food. And then be sad about eating food.

Just a few weeks ago, I stopped counting my calories. I wouldn't even look at calories on the stuff I was eating anymore, and it was liberating. Have I gained weight again? Yeah, a few pounds, but I'm still in the BMI average and I still work out. I still eat healthy because it's good for you (and peas are the best!), but I don't feel guilty if I have a cheeseburger anymore.

Whenever we would go out to eat, I would be sure to get the healthier thing I could find, even if it wasn't my favorite thing. Now I get what I want, and sometimes, that may still be a salad. Honestly, I feel like I can enjoy food more now that I'm not worried about how many calories are in it. I can look at my belly and think it's cute rather than a beastly abomination.

With all that said, girls, you are lovely as you are. Do NOT feel like you need to have that perfect super model body to be perfect yourself.

I got to my goal weight of around 110. I still have a little belly and my fiance thinks it is adorable. You can still see the abs I've got, and I have belly rolls when I slouch. It gets bigger when I eat. Here's a secret: even if you are flirting with the line of being underweight like I was, you will always have a teeny pooch, and that is normal!

You have two choices: you can either be miserable about your imperfections, or you can stand up and admire what you've got. Would it be nice to have that perfect body? Let me tell you something, who says what the perfect body looks like anyway? I will never be that super skinny blonde bombshell with a C cup and huge ass, ok? I am a beautiful short brunette with a muscular frame and yes, I've got a tiny belly.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get a snack now because I'm hungry. Peace!

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Health |  Source: livestrong.com

I Lost 15 Pounds. Here's How it Happened.

Snacks are whack.

About this time last year I was borderline overweight according to the BMI scale, and I was able to tell. I had a gut. I had a chubby face. My arms were a bit flabby, and my self-esteem wasn't too high. I looked at a picture that my mom had taken of me on a family vacation that summer and thought, I'm not okay with this. Ever since that day I've researched ways to lose weight in a healthy fashion, and proper exercises to lose fat. Since that year's journey I've lost 15 pounds. Here's what happened on that road.

A lot of my problems started with the fact that I was snacking a crap-ton because I was bored. It didn't help that the things I snacked on included Little Debbie's snacks and potato chips. Not good. I decided to at least change up what I was eating, and I started turning to crackers, pretzels, and water instead. I know, most people think carbs are gross, but carbs are a necessity for your body to function. (This is wonderful for me because I freakin' love bread). Now I eat veggies, apples, and, still, crackers. Go me.

Once I jumped over the sugary hurdle, I had to decide what exercises to do. The most exercise I would ever do would be one little walk, maybe two to three times a week. I decided to try and walk every day, and walk faster. Then I moved on to the stationary bike. About half a year later, I got a YMCA membership and took exercise classes five times a week for more variety. Seriously, variety is a wonderful thing when you are working out.

The winter was a problem. I was starting to turn back to old eating habits when I was bored, and didn't exercise too much because I was inside. I gained about five pounds back that I had lost because of that. I was so lethargic and didn't feel like doing a whole lot. My way of battling it was to restrict even more of what I was eating.

Problem with that: you should never eat less than 1,200 calories a day if you are a girl, or 1,800 if you are a guy, because it'll put your body into starvation mode, majorly slowing your metabolism. This is not good. You will gain more weight if your metabolism slows down.

Throughout the entire trial of losing weight, I had to battle the constant need to eat, even if I wasn't hungry. To make sure I didn't give in, I would wait until my stomach started growling, or if I couldn't wait that long, I'd get out of the house and go for a walk far away from the sugary temptations. I started to plan what snacks I would allow myself to eat, allowing only green beans, apples, turkey, and tea. I have not regretted making that list.

If I had to chock this all up to a few key nuggets of wisdom, I would probably say: only eat if you are genuinely hungry, diet is way more important than you think, exercise is fun once you find the right routines for yourself, and beware of winter. But since I have lost this weight my self-esteem has sky-rocketed upward, I've become a much healthier eater, and I feel sexier. The path is a bit grueling, but I can certainly tell you it's very worth it.

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Health |  Source: thetenmost.com

Our Obsession With Weight Loss

There's healthy weight loss, and then there's unhealthy.

"This Is How To Lose Weight and Keep It Off!"

"Lose Weight In Your Sleep - Seriously!"

"17 Days to Significant Weight Loss."

"26 Tips to Help You Lose Weight and Feel Great."

I browsed Shape.com for fitness and health articles, and these are the titles and headlines that I found. Noticing a trend? I do too, one that isn't unique to this one fitness news outlet. Our society has become obsessed with the idea of losing weight.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Weight loss can be empowering, rewarding, and healthy, of course. Bodybuilding.com has an incredible section on their website dedicated to people transforming their bodies. Being a dedicated follower of the bodybuilding and fitness industry, I love reading this page. These stories, like this one I read recently, are motivational and uplifting.

The facts and sources don't lie. The CDC notes the numerous health risks associated with being overweight or obese, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and the CDC reports that 38 percent of adults and 17 percent of teenagers are obese.

Now why would I have a problem with our society's weight loss craze after reading these scary numbers? It would certainly seem that America needs to lose weight. But my problem with the weight loss craze doesn't have to do with physical health. I'm not discouraging people who have weight to lose from pursuing weight loss plans and diets in a safe way. My big issue with our society's obsession deals with the effects of body weight struggles that are invisible but very real: the mental and emotional aspects.

We associate weight loss with success. Fitness. Happiness. Beauty. Power. Weight gain, on the other hand, is rarely ever something to be celebrated. It's inherently a bad, negative, stigmatized concept (refer again to those scary statistics above). I'm horrified that things such as fat shaming and body shaming exist nowadays, and are accepted. Perfectly normal, beautiful women are labeled as "plus-size" and "unhealthy" simply because they don't match society's definition of fitness and typical body shape (slay, Ashley Graham, slayyyyyy).

I have witnessed firsthand the growing stigma surrounding weight gain, especially among young women. For a long time, I was blinded by the tempting headlines and weight loss articles. I drove myself mad stepping on the scale each morning until I became a slave to the practice. I worshipped my mirror. I ate less and less each day, striving to make that accursed little number shrink. My calorie intake was likely close to or even less than 1100 per day. I justified my obsession with becoming skinny and thin by promising myself I'd be a happier, more athletic, fit version of myself. This was going to make me amazing. Pretty. Strong. Confident. But I was I wrong.

I eventually met with a dietitian and was talked into sanity...a sanity that unfortunately did not last long. I traded starvation for the pursuit of a very strictly healthy diet, to the point where I completely swore off certain foods. No eggs. No red meat. Definitely no sugar. I couldn't eat out at restaurants and would fall into panic mode if I couldn't get out of the situation. I had to cook everything for myself, because there was no way I'd really know what other people put into my food. I fell back into the pattern of weighing myself until the scale became my captor again.

These thought patterns crept into my exercise habits as well, until I hated myself on days I didn't work out. I lost 11 pounds from freshman to sophomore year of college, and in the summer of 2014, I was diagnosed with orthorexia nervosa and OCD. Orthorexia is, quite simply, the unhealthy obsession with a "healthy" lifestyle and diet, to the point where everyday life is disrupted. I correlated my diet and weight to my emotional well-being; if I was skinny and eating a perfect diet, then I was happy.

I was involuntarily sidelined from playing college volleyball in the spring of 2015. The sports physicians discovered that I had a dangerous iron deficiency, one that would have required an emergency blood transfusion had my levels been any lower. I wasn't allowed to practice. Lift. Run. For two and a half weeks. Even when I returned to practice, I wasn't allowed to jump, power lift, or sprint. On top of that, I weighed 139 pounds, which, for a 6-foot Division I athlete, is severely underweight. I had a choice. I could sit the bench, or I could gain weight and play. For me, there wasn't a choice. This was the sport and the team that I loved.

So, the campus dietitians put me on a 3,000 calorie-a-day diet, which horrified me at first. At our weekly team weigh-ins, I had to watch all my teammates smile proudly if their weights had dropped, or roll their eyes and mutter "damn!" if they'd gone up. I felt incredibly self-conscious and odd stepping on the scale, seeing a three-pound increase, and having to remind myself that this was good. This was making me strong. This was making me better.

In all, I gained 11 pounds, and I now sit comfortably at 150. I've finally learned to love myself and my body, and I could not be happier. I'll say it again...I'm the happiest and healthiest I've ever been in my life, and this was only after I'd gained 11 pounds. I lift heavier and run faster than I ever thought I could. I found the stronger, happier, more confident, vibrant version of myself at 150 pounds, and looking back, I know now that the 139-pound girl was a skeleton, a ghost, unhappy and sick. I had to reverse my way of thinking and separate what society thought about weight gain from what was actually true for my health. And I am so glad that I did, for the mental and emotional reasons, as well as the physical.

Lose weight if you need to, or most importantly, if you want to. Gain weight if you want to. Do it because you want to, not because you feel forced to by others or by an ideal image of fitness or beauty. You and only you get to decide what makes you happy. Take it from someone who had to make the journey and break away from a misconstrued view of fitness. Loving yourself and being healthy - truly healthy - is more important than any health craze.

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Health |  Source: @rohane

How to Lose Weight Without Really Trying

You probably don't even realize all of the bad decisions you're making.

As noted in this post's predecessor, it's not easy being a college student. You're supposed to get good grades, rage constantly, and look good while doing it all.

But unless you're one of those super-human creatures who can somehow devour cheap pizza following a night of drunken debauchery courtesy of your favorite shitty beer while still fitting into all your favorite clothes from high school, you've probably noticed that you're not exactly looking your best. At all.

In fact, you could say you've gotten pretty fat. And the worst part is that despite the fact that you're aware you look like a cross between a sea cow and an unwashed potato, you just are ready to make the strenuous and time-consuming commitment to lose weight.

My calorically irresponsible lifestyle caught up with me even faster than my fiscally irresponsible one. The freshmen 15 is real. The sophomore 16 isn't far behind. And as noted before, I am entirely unmotivated, so I devised a few methods to lose weight quickly and with minimal to no effort on my behalf.

Walk to Class
You're talking to Uber royalty, here. I spent so much money Ubering to classes just so I could leave five to 10 minutes later. When I finally realized this wasn't a sustainable model of transportation, I started walking.

Within a week I noticed a difference in my legs and my overall shape. Skip the Ubers, skip the bus, skip the pledge rides to class. Take the long way to your classes. Hit all the hills. And if you're habitually late like me, you're about to become a really good runner.

Drink Up
I know that every article telling you how to lose weight stresses that you should load up on the agua, but seriously. Drink hella water. If you aren't about to pee yourself in every single class, you're doing it wrong.

Not only will it fill you up so you're less likely to binge eat Chipotle twice in one day, but it'll also help you de-bloat. Say goodbye to your carbonation-induced love handles and hello to clear skin, less cravings, and probably fewer instances of blacking out.

Pack Snacks
Day after day I'd tell myself that I don't need to bring snacks to have throughout the day. Day after day in between my classes I'd end up in a hunger-driven rage, buying candy, Jimmy Johns, an entire pizza for myself, whatever.

So I started packing almonds, hummus, fruit. Things that would fill me up but not leave me regretting every food-related life choice I'd ever made. Plus, you save money. Win-win.

Get Involved
It sucks motivating yourself to go get on the stair master for an hour. It sucks even to go to one of those cardio hip-hop classes that always over-exaggerate the amount of fun you'll have and under-exaggerate the awkwardness in the room.

But some of the best ways to get cardio can actually be fun as hell. Play basketball, volleyball, tennis, racquetball, or even an enthusiastic ping pong will do more for you than falling asleep on the elliptical, and you can do it with all your friends who also gained ten pounds in breadsticks during Welcome Week.

Dress Like You Don't Want to Crawl in a Hole and Die
There's nothing wrong with occasionally wearing sweatpants, leggings, baggy shirts, basketball shorts, etc to class every once in a while. But when you're constantly wearing loose, comfy clothes, you might not even realize you've gained weight until you try to squeeze yourself into a pair of jeans. Or really anything that isn't composed of at least 5 percent Spandex.

Not to mention, you're gonna feel so much better about yourself when you see your reflection in the library bathroom and don't have the thought "why is this Beluga looking at me?"

You're welcome. Now go break in that crop top.